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Is Instant Replay Working?

Since the beginning of the baseball season there have been numerous instant replay decisions that keep you scratching your head, wondering who in New York is looking at the replays. All of the contested plays are shown over and over on TV by the broadcasters and after watching all of the angles you can usually be sure if the play is going to stand or be overturned.

You figure the baseball umpires watching the replays in New York have the best replay systems money can buy and within minutes should be able to make the correct call.

One play which was a no-brainer was when New York Yankees’ right fielder, Aaron Judge hit a fly ball that was dropped by a fan as he reached over the right center field fence, sending it back onto the field and instead of the play being called a home run, it was ruled a triple for Judge.

See for yourself here:

The game was on ESPN this past Sunday night, viewed by millions of fans on TV, the fans at the stadium and three ESPN broadcasters and everyone saw that the ball Judge hit was going out of the park when the fan interfered with the flight. It took the New York umpires, too long to decide and tell the on field umpires that their ruling of fan interference would stand. There have been many calls just as obvious that are not overturned which leaves you wondering if those umpires are looking at the same game we are.

I wonder is it worth the time and money it takes to continue instant replay when they still can’t get the call right. I understand the umpires on the field are human and are prone to making incorrect calls but someone sitting in a room whose job is just to watch a video and to determine if a play was called correctly, should be able to come back with a correct call at least 70% of the time instead of maybe 50%.

A baseball player comes up ten times and gets three hits and is considered a star, so an umpire getting 7 out of 10 calls right while sitting in front of a video machine with no pressure is not a lot to ask. Lets give them a time limit to come up with the call and let’s see how good they really are, but I have my doubts after watching so many bad calls in the early going of the season.

I would rather we go back to no replay and at least we can be entertained by a manager or player getting into a heated argument with a field umpire over a bad call.


Elias is a native of the Bronx, NY and a lifelong baseball fan. In High School, he once pitched a gem on the same field as Ed Kranepool and grew up rooting for both the Mets and the Yankees. Elias is a retired NYPD and Ocala, FL Detective and spends his quality time with family and writing about the game he loves.

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